The broad indexes all declined, with weak trading volumes heading into the long Memorial Day Weekend, as investors continued to worry over the possible exit of Greece from the euro, and with further negative news from Spain.
The president of Spain's Catalonia region said the region would need assistance from the central government to refinance over 13 billion euro of borrowings. Meanwhile, trading was halted for the shares of Bankia, before the bank's board of directors met to discuss the final amount of government aid the partially nationalized Spanish bank would need.
Standard & Poor's on Friday downgraded for Bankia to a below-investment-grade rating of "BB+," while lowering ratings for four other Spanish banks, while saying that "Spain is entering a double-dip recession that will likely trigger a large increase in the volume of problematic assets that the financial system will accumulate in 2012 and 2013, which in turn will lead banks record high credit provisions."
Philip van Doorn. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.
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